After a season-crippling 11-game losing streak that saw more than one embarrassing loss along the way, Jed Hoyer and co. seem to finally see the writing on the wall, and are planning to sell at the deadline. The move has truthfully been three years in the making, as the core of players that brought the Chicago Cubs their first World Series in over 108 years has simply gotten worse and worse in the years since.
But this doesn’t mean the Cubs will be sent to the basement of the league. The team has a solid farm already in place, and have an abundance of riches they’ll be able to unload at the deadline. If Chicago pays the remaining salaries of those they trade, as the Athletic (subscription required) suggested they might do, they’ll become the most enticing team for buyers to trade with.
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The prospect returns we can expect from some of the players the team trades are likely going to be very good. If the front office plays its cards right at the deadline, there’s a very good possibility that they could be back in contention in a short period of time. The Cubs have some of the most coveted players on the trade market which gives them a ton of leverage over other teams, and that leverage could grow in the next few series.
Chicago Cubs could parlay their upcoming schedule into more leverage at the deadline
As the Cubs approach the deadline, their upcoming schedule provides an interesting opportunity. The team’s next three series are against the league-worst Diamondbacks, the struggling Cardinals and then the Diamondbacks once again. There is a very real possibility that the Cubs win anywhere from seven to nine games in this stretch, which could put them right back in the thick of the postseason picture.
This likely wouldn’t change the front office’s mind, nor should it, as a nice stretch of baseball against these bottom-tier teams certainly wouldn’t prove that the Cubs have turned it around, but it would give Jed Hoyer the ability to corner the market into overpaying. Hoyer would have the ability to make other teams have to give him the deal he wants in order to stop the club from going for the postseason and given the number of players on the team that contenders would be salivating over, it’s very possible Hoyer could be fleecing one or more teams at the deadline.
The Cubs are certain to be the center of the trade rumors circuit as they have the ability to help contenders with virtually any need. Need high leverage bullpen arms? Chicago has three of those, including the best one on the market. Need power bats? They have a sizable collection of those for sale as well.
The team is finally selling after seasons of regression, and contenders will be lining up in droves for a piece of the former World Series-winning core.